Watch: Jeremy Hunt accidentally refers to ‘English Government’ while responding to Plaid Cymru MP
Jeremy Hunt accidentally referred to the UK Government as the “English Government” in the House of Commons while responding to a Plaid Cymru MP.
Ceredigion MP Ben Lake had asked the Chancellor whether the £1.2bn increase in the Welsh Government was a real terms increase, and if not what impact it would have on the rising cost of living in Wales.
Jeremy Hunt responded: “Because of the way the Barnett consequentials work this is a cash amount that the Welsh Government will receive, but if they do what the English government is doing with schools and hospitals…”
MPs began jeering as he realised what he had said.
He continued: “If they do what the United Kingdom government is doing in England with schools and hospitals, then there will be a real terms increase in Welsh schools and in Welsh hospitals.”
In a moment of honesty, Jeremy Hunt mentions the ‘English Government’ to @BenMLake
12 years of austerity have stretched public services to breaking point
Wales is £4bn worse off due to Tory chaos – £1.2bn won’t cut it pic.twitter.com/m707pu4IJr
— Plaid Cymru (@Plaid_Cymru) November 17, 2022
MPs were quick to jump in the error, with SNP MP Angus MacNeil tweeing: “Chancellor has just called the Government at Westminster, “the English Government.”
Another SNP MP, Amy Callaghan, asked: “A slip of the tongue or the truth laid bare for all to hear?”
Responding to the Autumn Statement, Rebecca Evans, the Welsh Government’s Finance Minister, said that it meant that people would be paying more for less.
The Chancellor’s statement confirmed tax rises for people across the United Kingdom along with spending cuts in future spending review periods.
Forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility have indicated the biggest fall in disposable income since records began, with household incomes not expected to get back to pre-pandemic levels until 2028.
Rebecca Evans, Minister for Finance and Local Government, said: “We should be under no illusions; this statement confirms we are in a deep recession. Real incomes are set to fall by 7% over the next two years, while inflation is at its highest rate in 41 years.
“Today’s Autumn Statement is an invoice for the UK Government’s failure to manage the economy over the last 12 years.
“It provides pain today and pain tomorrow, with higher taxes and energy costs now and spending cuts to come. Ultimately, it leaves people paying more for less.
“Throughout this process I have made clear to the Chancellor that Wales cannot afford deep and damaging austerity. I am relieved that the Chancellor has at least partially responded to my calls for more funding for public services in the here and now.
“However, let me be clear that today’s statement doesn’t even come close to providing the funding needed to protect public service budgets against the immense challenges caused by record inflation.
“We will be carefully analysing the detail of today’s announcements ahead of our December budget.”
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